Submitted to: Journal of Chemical Ecology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/3/2003
Publication Date: 7/1/2003
Citation: Zhang, A., Robbins, P.S., Averill, A.L., Linn, C.E., Roelofs, W.L., Villani, M.G., Weber, D.C. 2003. Identification of the female-produced sex pheromone of the scarab beetle, hoplia equina.. Journal of Chemical Ecology. 29(7):1635-1642. Interpretive Summary: Hoplia equina LeConte is a scarab beetle pest of cranberry beds in Massachusetts. The larvae feed on the roots of the cranberry and vine plants, reducing yield of cranberry as well as vine density. Aside from the summer flood and total bog renovation, there are no recommended methods of control for any of the cranberry feeding scarabs. To aid in the detection and management of H. equina, we initiated a study to determine if sex pheromones are used for mate location. Using our state-of-art gas chromatographic-electroantennographic detection technique, the female sex pheromone of H. equina was discovered to be a blend of five ketones: 2-dodecanone, 2-tridecanone, 2- tetradecanone, 2-pentadecanone, and 2-hexadecanone. The identified attractant blend from the H. equina provides potential for cranberry and vinery growers to monitor and mass trap this economic pest.
Technical Abstract: Hoplia equina LeConte is a small (6-8 mm), native scarab beetle for which there is no common name. Hoplia grubs had been observed as cranberry bed root feeding pests in 1990 in Massachusetts. The Hoplia equina were first reported in the literature as new and important cranberry pests in 1996. The last revision of the genus Hoplia indicates 12 species in America north of Mexico. It has been reported that the range of H. equina is from Maryland through the eastern portion of Pennsylvania and New Jersey to Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Hampshire. The female sex pheromone of H. equina is identified as a blend of five ketones: 2-dodecanone, 2- tridecanone, 2-tetradecanone, 2-pentadecanone, and 2-hexadecanone. Of the five components, the 2-tetradecanone comprised the largest portion, nearly 60% of the natural sex pheromone blend, and attracted significantly more male beetles than any of the other four components alone.